KCPD Chief Forte responds to racial profiling allegations

Council members question curfew citations

KANSAS CITY - Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte addressed council members one week after Councilman Jermaine Reed questioned police tactics when it comes to the city's summer curfew.

Reed questioned why every citation issued by police last summer was only at the shopping center.

"The reason the numbers are like this is because these people violate the law," Chief Forte said, "they violate the law."

Forte defended his officers and said police need to be at full force at the Country Club Plaza.

"We're only enforcing this curfew in one area of the city and were not enforcing it at the other areas that are identified as entertainment areas in this city," Reed said during a previous meeting held January 21.

Forte said there just isn't enough enforcement at the Plaza to control the hundreds of teens who gather at the shopping center after the 9 p.m. curfew.

Forte said the teenagers are just breaking the curfew and are causing trouble.

"When you're talking about people being pushed into fountains, a gun being pulled on an officer, that's where we're going to put our resources" Forte said, "and we might need to put more there."

The city ordinance includes the city's five entertainment venues: Zona Rosa, 18th and Vine. Westport, Power and Light and the Plaza.

Last summer, police cited 16 teens for breaking curfew; 14 of them were black.

"We did a check on all the offices involved, the entire city," Chief Forte said. "Not one complaint had anything to do with biased based policing, these are all the people that were arrested."

Council members still want to review the ordinance to see whether it's necessary. Chief Forte has other predictions.

"Next year, in the next six months," Forte said, "there might be more citations issued."

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